Swim England is bringing in new guidelines for its affiliated clubs in a bid to show they have the highest standards of safe and effective practice in place.

The Stronger Affiliation process is being introduced so new and existing members know clubs are well run and their personnel have the necessary safeguarding checks in place to ensure members’ safety.

If a club is already SwimMark accredited, then they will just need to maintain the accreditation.


Please click here to see whether your club has either SwimMark or Stronger Affiliation.


Please click here to view Templates and Guidance.


For any club without SwimMark (or should a SwimMark lapse), the following six pieces of evidence need to be provided and approved by December 2020. If you click the title of the element, examples of evidence are provided to support and guide clubs through the process.

Club Constitution – letter approved by Swim England North West Regional Board.

Welfare Officer Statement of Compliance – mandatory signed statement of compliance by the Welfare Officer stating the club is being run in accordance with Wavepower guidelines.

Club Chair Statement of Compliance – mandatory signed statement of compliance that the club is following Swim England’s Code of Ethics and has role descriptions within the club, and evidence submitted for Stronger Affiliation is true and accurate.

Risk Assessments – a risk assessment for each of the following must be completed: Pool Activity (Training or Competition), Non Pool Activity (Land Training or Social Event) and Club Trip (Travel or Social Event). Each risk assessment must contain the name of the individual who undertook the risk assessment and the date completed.

Club Personnel Report – one document required to be downloaded from the Online Membership System (OMS) in PDF format. All individuals involved in running the club must be added to the OMS system under one of the following headings: Governance, Officials, Competition Roles, Support Roles or Coaching and Teaching Register.

Guidance documents include OMS Guide, Common Questions and Answers, Role Descriptors and DBS Requirements.

Welfare Officer – provide evidence of Safeguarding and Time to Listen qualification for the clubs Welfare Officer.


If a club provides all of the above information, then they will be compliant for Swim England changes in 2021.

Failure to meet this new minimum standard of compliance will result in a club being suspended temporarily or permanently at the beginning of 2021.


Why is Swim England introducing Stronger Affiliation?

By introducing a Stronger Affiliation process, Swim England will be able to:

  • Support clubs to ensure they are implementing the appropriate governance and meeting minimum operating standards.
  • Enhance the experience of club members.
  • Demonstrate its commitment to ensuring the safety of all affiliated clubs and members through stronger governance.
  • Provide stronger leadership for the sport.
  • Strengthen sustainability for future generations.

Align to Sport England’s direction of travel for community sport clubs.


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